Jointly supporting SMEs to access EU funding – Matchmaking @ Shift2Rail JU Info Day
In May 2017, the European Railway Clusters Initiative (ERCI) was approached by Shift2Rail Joint
Undertaking with the request if ERCI was interested in organising a matchmaking during their Info Day
for the upcoming calls 2018, taking place in December 2017. Shift2Rail JU is a unique programme in
Europe with the largest budget dedicated to research and innovation activities in the rail sector. ERCI
comprises eleven railway clusters from across Europe representing small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs). One goal ERCI shares with the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is supporting SMEs to grow
Increasing the participation of SMEs in Shift2Rail Open Calls 2018 was the common ground for the
cooperation between EEN and ERCI. One of the ERCI partner clusters is the Cluster Transport,
Logistics and Mobility Berlin-Brandenburg. Sharing one host organisation – Berlin Partner for Business
and Technology – cluster management team and Enterprise Europe Network local contact points have
established close cooperation in Berlin and Brandenburg. Therefore, and knowing EEN organises
successful matchmakings frequently, ERCI contacted EEN to join forces for organising a Matchmaking
Event during Shift2Rail JU’s Info Day.
The event turned out a great success and was very well received by the attendees. It provided them
with a unique opportunity to discuss ways of cooperation with regard to the Open Calls in a systematic
manner already onsite during the info day. Over 80 bilateral meetings took place during this day, most
of them were transnational meetings. Several collaborations between attendees were already agreed
on during the day.
The cooperation between clusters and Enterprise Europe Network therefore benefitted a large range of
their members and clients. Research entities, associations and companies attending the Matchmaking
later applied jointly for funding under Shift2Rail’s open calls. Enterprise Europe Network and ERCI have
already agreed to continue their successful collaboration for upcoming partnering events – the next
matchmaking will take place during InnoTrans 2018 in Berlin.